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Columns

  • A loud pop delays the show

    Just when I thought it was safe to close the chapter on the George Gershwin/Cole Porter performance by the Highlands University Choir at Ilfeld Auditorium, along comes another aspect of the performance.

    Last week’s column covered the unexpected power failure in that historic building. Those several minutes left the auditorium in darkness, except for the handful of illuminated “exit” signs throughout the building.

  • N.M. homelessness — as seen by a Norwegian

    My name is Annika, and I am a volunteer at the Samaritan House in Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA. Currently, I’m studying at the United World college in Montezuma, but primarily, I live in Norway.

    I moved here in August 2017 to attend the World College, and since then I have been going to the shelter with a group of other people from my school, every week.

    Considering the background I come from, I was not very familiar with homelessness before coming here.

  • Investing in a child is investing in the future

    A few years ago a 60 something-year-old man came to me for help. It was my first time meeting him. As an attorney having practiced law for over three and a half decades, I was ready to address his legal issues.
    I listened as he began to share his story. His issue was completely unrelated to his upbringing, but he began his story by saying “When I was seven years old my parents got divorced.” He proceeded to explain his current legal problem almost 60 years later.

  • Do what works to provide student success

    By Charles Goodmacher

    Teachers and other educators across the nation say “enough” to chronic underfunding of public education. Here in New Mexico, educators await a positive outcome to the lawsuit against the State for failing to provide public schools the supports necessary for statewide student success.

    The National Education Association-New Mexico applauds every parent, school district board of education and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund who bring the lawsuit.

  • Poll shows New Mexicans want reforms

    In 2016, Americans threw a hand grenade into the nation’s body politic. Fed up with politicians in general and suffering from misinformation running amuck on social media, Donald Trump became that grenade and we’ve been dealing the consequences ever since.

  • Let there be light

    I was 10 when I'd go to Marquez Grocery on Grand, a short distance from my house to buy a treat to enjoy on the way to Immaculate Conception School.

    In the store, I saw a scruffy kid around 7, who asked the grocer, Orlando Marquez, for "a bag of George Gershwins."

  • Consider poverty from multiple points of view

    Some insisted during the recent Tri-County Poverty Summit, spearheaded by San Miguel County Commissioner Rock Ulibarri, that the problem is structural.

    If true, how is the structure defined?

    The other logical question, of course, is who imagined and saw to its being built?

    If one can’t honestly define the structural problem, how can one clearly take the necessary action to address or fix the problem?

    One significant point was made that emphasized perspective.

  • Oh, the joys of aging!

    Recently, Vicki Howell asked me, “How do you like being retired here in Las Vegas?”  I explained to her that I dislike both the word and the concept. “Retired” sounds like I’m tired, over and over again. I’m not doing anything again. I’ve never been retired.

    Although I’m not working full-time anymore, I am teaching at Luna, writing a column for The Optic, and singing with Contrafact Jazz Band.

  • Adjust your sails to add value to others

    No one has ever attained greatness in a job they hate.

    There, I said it.

    Let me take this a step further. No one has ever been good at parenting who has hated being a parent. So much of what we do in this world is controlled by our core attitudes and beliefs. From our core comes our actions.

    This concept on greatness is quite simple. If you don’t have your heart into what you do, you will not excel at what you are doing.

  • Confessions of a neurotic media consumer

    I’ve been about three months without television and it’s made my life quieter. Couple that with the fact that I hardly ever get on Facebook anymore and I’m a veritable hermit.

    Sorry, friends, but I got tired of social media years ago. I keep a presence out there, and I check to see what’s up with friends from time to time, but I don’t really contribute to the social media conversation out there anymore.